India is the world’s fourth-most attractive renewable energy (RE) market, and it has the world’s most ambitious RE development program. But there are obstacles to increasing the use of these energy sources — wind and solar among them.
Most of the obstacles stem from the rapidly changing policy environment in which India’s renewable energy industry operates. Over the past decade, advantages of location and incentives provided by state governments have pushed some states in India into RE leadership positions. But problems remain in these states, as well.
This project aims to improve media coverage of RE issues in the key states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka so that these challenges are debated openly and policymakers can take corrective action. In partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, EJN will support a series of trainings that aims to help journalists understand these problems better and determine the prospects for RE if they can be tackled.
Activities were due to begin in mid-2020 with in-person journalism training workshops, but start-up was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. EJN eventually pivoted to holding activities virtually, with three online media workshops on the problems and prospects facing renewable energy in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Future activities will include additional trainings on renewable energy issues across these three localities, and at least one country-wide workshop that will focus on green mobility.
As part of this project, EJN has also invited journalists to propose story ideas on renewable energy and is providing grants to selected journalists to examine these crucial issues in depth. We will also eventually be creating an online training course that Indian journalists can take to improve their reporting on RE and related topics.
Banner image: Solar panels in Indiana, USA / Credit: Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash